This week sees the start of Taste Orange Wine Week (even though it’s actually 10 days!) so it’s great to showcase a current release from the area. There has been a lot of debate in the past about Orange’s ability to be a premium wine producing region of Australia. I’m going to be headed up to Orange for their wine show dinner and public tasting as a guest of the region and intend seeing how Australia’s highest GI’s wine industry continues to mature and grow. I look forward to reporting back in the near future.
Printhie are one of the benchmark wineries from a district that continues to go from strength to strength. The Swift family as winery owners, working tightly with Drew Tuckwell, head winemaker, are ensuring that reliability, consistency and ultimately excellence can be seen in their wines. Aromatic whites, elegant reds and now the Swift Family Sparkling create an enviable portfolio from a unique region. Their label “MCC” stands for “Mount Canobolas Collection” which is saved for their higher quality marques. The fruit for this vineyard grown on the Phalaris Block at an height of 620 metres above sea level. Orange really does do “wine with altitude.”
2012 isn’t heralded as a great NSW vintage, but as Orange sat to the north and higher than the downpours that hit a lot of other districts in NSW, it benefited from a longer ripening period with harvest going through April, taking advantage of the warm remnants of summer.
A deep blood ruby in the glass, a colour that almost glows. Damson plums, slightly medicinal, cool climate spice/herbs and pepper on the nose. Violets and bluestone. A hint of milk chocolate confection from the new oak fermentation and maturation (12% new French and American, 15% one year old).
Distinctive on the palate, it tastes cool. Lovely ripe plump plum, cloves and white pepper. A very upright spine of acidity that typifies the region’s altitude and mocha from the carefully applied framework of oak. The palate finishes medium in length, spicy and with lovely extract/grip from skin maceration.
Best lay this down for a little while, let that oak integrate, the acids soften and the fruit really start singing.